I write about gratitude often because I feel good parenting can never not include teaching and practicing gratitude in our homes daily. It’s important that growing children are given opportunities to open their eyes to the blessings that are so many times taken for granted. It’s our responsibility to sensitise them to sufferings of others, the ills plaguing our society and respect people who are less fortunate than us.
Today we don’t need to go too far to see the different sections of society and their turmoils. Wife beating, child labour , alcoholism etc is all evident in our house staff’s personal lives. Our maids and drivers are living a life stark opposite of ours …right in front of us. Big plush homes that we live in need to be tended to. We might not be Downton Abbey’s Lords and Ladies but we have accumulated enough and can’t do without an army of people working for us. And we treat them well, we give them livelihood and are helping them build better lives no doubt. But their stories are best unheard because they can pierce our soul …like a dagger finding its way right in the middle of our heart. Some maids have been sent to another city to earn for their family and thankfully so as they were a victim of their husbands wrath. The bruises on their bodies and submission of their spirits are evidences we conveniently ignore. The daily wagers are trying to work both at home and at people’s houses with the same story of male ego and domination carrying the weight of working for a living and also getting beaten up for it. There are lives trying to make ends meet amidst wealth of our homes and people trying hard to resist temptations every day.
We need to teach our children to see behind the smiles of their favourite didis, who are forever ready to polish their shoes and wash their laundry. Let’s remember how we are treating the people who have much lesser power than us is what that makes our children sensitive to suffering of others or desensitise them. In times to come our growing children might not have the luxury of having people work for them and might have to do all the mundane chores of their lives….themselves. And that might be good because something has to change this culture of closing our eyes to pains of people who are our lifelines …our maids, our drivers and our staff. They have families too, they like their holidays too, they fall ill too, they would like to celebrate the festivals and their children’s birthdays too. They only don’t seem to have the luxury like us to take that time out because we need an army to polish our silver and tend to our not so sparkling marble floors.
Let’s make sure our children don’t see our frustratation when we have to clean our homes ourselves because the maid’s child was unwell . Or because she didn’t have the energy to come for work after a thrashing from her husband the day before.
Let’s teach them dignity of labour and valuing the people who make their lives simpler!
Let’s teach them to pick up the broom, hang their laundry, do their dishes and cook a meal sometimes too!
Let’s teach them to be sensitive to people who work for us but who are not our slaves …people who would love to live their lives the same stately way we do!
Let’s be better role models, let’s pick up that broom, hang our laundry, do our dishes and cook a meal ourselves too!